For the past 24 hours I have turned off the computer, left my art supplies on their self, and made my notepad a no-work zone. Why? I had friends over. Here in Merida, Mexico! Friends! Friends from the States were passing through. It was such a nice surprise. They only had a day, but it was so nice to pretend like we had normal lives again. We went sightseeing, swam in the pool, cooked in, ate out, laughed and talked. Talked, talked, talked. Talked like old friends. The thing is, we really aren’t.
We haven’t known them very long. We met at a conference in Portland, Oregon less than a year ago. The World Domination Summit. A conference in which people who want to live extraordinary lives get together to encourage each other to do just that. Months later we all happened to be in Chiang Mai, Thailand at the same time. We spent two weeks together sharing some fantastic adventures. True bonding time.
What do we talk about? We all have big goals and bid dreams, but what’s really important is that we are all actively perusing them. We are four people leading unconventional lives in order to continue on our paths. It was so good to encourage and be encouraged by others on similar journeys.
My life strategy for success when I used to be an actor was to surround myself with people who were better than me so I could learn and rise to their level. No longer.
With a few years on me now, I have adapted this. I no longer think that anyone is better than me. Ha. Now, I look to surround myself with people who are further along in their journeys than I am, whether they are fellow writers and illustrator, or in any other field.
This is a reason I am looking forward to the SCBWI conference this summer. Hundreds of people who are actively working on their writing careers. Many who are published. Most have been at this longer than I. It’ll be my time to soak it all in. Hopefully I’ll make some new friends along the way. People who understand the journey. People to add to my support group.
Back on track. Not that I was worried, but last weeks first draft was in rhyme. Because of that, it took me three days longer than usual to complete. Luckily, this week’s came to me pretty easily and I was able to get it done by my usual deadline of Tuesday. Guess what? this one was in rhyme too. That’s what took me so much time last week. The rhyme. And here I was doing it again. But this one came together. This one was for a slightly younger audience, so the writing was a bit easier.
My biggest problem … forget that … my biggest blessing is that I have found my art again. It is slowly creeping in each day and taking up more and more of my time. I was going to make this year all about the writing, and it has been. I’ve learned so much. But now that I find myself with art supplies and a space to work, I can’t keep away. I just want to improve, improve, improve.
I’ve also committed myself to entering the portfolio showcase at the SCBWI summer conference in LA. I still have a lot of work to do on that front.
I can find the time for all of it if I let myself. Now is the time. Not tomorrow. Now. Jump with both feet. Be bold. Make mistakes today, so tomorrow I can improve.
I tell myself these things over and over. Now I’m starting to believe it. Beyond that, I am starting to live it!
Week 35 and 35 first drafts!
I actually met with my first deadline failure. I was chugging along strong this week. I had the idea. It was actually a very old idea, an idea that I’ve had since I was a child. I started writing and it seemed as if things were going to be pretty easy. Heck, this story had been floating around in the back of my head for 30-35 years. So, I slowed down. Tuesday came and It wasn’t written yet. I did an early Tuesday morning crunch, but the story wouldn’t come out. It’s always worked before. I had the story in my head, but the words wouldn’t come together.
What to do? I trashed it. I started a completely new story. This one was inspired by a pencil sketch I had just completed.
It just cried out for rhyme. There was no other way to tell the story. Rhyme can take a long time to get right. So here I am. Thursday morning and still no story. It’s coming along, but it’s not there yet.
All this really means is that I’ll have less time to come up with an idea, and scribble it onto paper, next week. This isn’t really a worry, but I don’t want it to become a habit. Good habits are so hard to develop in the first place. I’d say a first draft a week is a pretty good habit.
35 weeks! Did I mention that? 35 first drafts (almost) written, and 17 weeks to go. Wow! I’m so excited I’ve made it this far.